Archive for December, 2010

Quick Note Again

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 31/12/2010 by arabrhizome

Right, this one will be a short post as well, but for two reasons. Reason number A is that yesterday was a very dull day. I was very ill all day. Nothing much happened, I just sat there fighting the boredom and trying not to feel too sorry for myself because I’m this ill. I spent most of the day watching the Wire and listening to some good music. I even tweeted a hash tag #teenageangstrevival, in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. I was basically tweeting lyrics of some of the most angsty songs of my teenage years. This, as you can imagine, involved a lot of 1990s grunge. Anyway, that’s reason number A.

Reason number 2.0 is that I am getting ready to go out for new year’s eve tonight. I’m still ill, but I thought fuck it you only live once, and there’ll be time to sleep when I’m dead, and all that jazz. This will also be the first time I hang out with people in a long while. I will need to get my conversation boots on and try to charm and entertain all who are present. Shut up I am a charming and entertaining guy. Shut up I said, I’m not boring. I’m very intelligent, and funny, and fuck who am I kidding? I’ll probably spend my evening standing in a corner looking surly and talking to no one. Haha, of course not, you’ll see I will have fun. Anyway, enough of this nonsense I’ll see you all tomorrow for a full review and assessment of my performance tonight. Oh and happy new year you weirdos, I love you though.

Oh Well

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 30/12/2010 by arabrhizome

Oh well is right. I’m properly ill. I thought I was a little ill and would be able to continue to do my work. However, the gods of writing are not on my side it seems. I just can’t believe that I got ill even though I haven’t met anyone or talked to anyone in a while now. It’s like I caught a bug just by walking around once this week. That’s quite unlucky. Anyway, this meant that I spent my day basically just watching more episodes of the wire. I don’t want to talk about it too much yet, as I’m still wrapping my head around it. All I want to say is that it is one of the best things I’ve watched in a while. It’s really very good, and if I’m still ill for a while, I might finish it off soon and write about it more soon.

I don’t really know what else to talk about. As I have explained Im ill and I didn’t do anything. The good thing is that I have a lot of food here and all the medicine I need. So I’m okay on this front. I haven’t played anything yesterday, as I was captivated by the Wire. I just can’t stop watching it. I don’t know if everyone would like it, as nothing much happens in any given episode. On the whole a lot happens, but it’s very much like a novel, there are many layers of themes that are intermeshed, and the main storyline is only there to serve them. Anyway, I’m still going on about it and I shouldn’t. I will however stop right now, as I don’t have that much to say. I’m sorry about the short message, but really there is nothing for me to say. Hopefully I’ll have more to say tomorrow.

Another Fast Day

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 29/12/2010 by arabrhizome

Well Tuesday was a weird one again. I woke up quite late, having made up for the previous night’s bad sleep. It was very strange. I haven’t had a sleep like that in a while. I just closed my eyes and then opened them again. I felt a little refreshed and ready to work. I made myself a cup of tea and then went ahead and did some work.

Most of my work though involved reading. This is good but I need to start translating this reading into words. I think that if I’m able to keep working steadily I’ll be able to get something ready by the end of the week. At least I hope so. Something along the lines of 5 or 6000 words. That would put me in a good place to double that the next week. I have been thinking about my thesis as a whole as well, and I think I need to change it up a bit. Nothing drastic, well it s a little drastic. I think I need to turn it into a 4 chapter thesis with a very long introduction. That way I’ll scrap what was chapter one and lay it all over my chapters. I think that this way the argument won’t be interrupted. I need to finish the first draft of this chapter and talk about it with my supervisors though. If I make a good argument, I think they’ll go along with me.

Anyway, the other feature of that day was that I have a cold. It’s strange as I haven’t really been in contact with anyone. I think that I might have caught something when I went out to do some shopping. I hope it’s just a cold that I can fight off and keep working despite it. It sure looks that way for now. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into something more ugly.

The thing is though, the day passed very quickly, and before I knew it, it was time for me to watch the last episode of Upstairs Downstairs. It was very good. I really like how the drama of the household is intermeshed with the political upheaval of the mid to late 1930s in the UK and Europe. Again it is very well done. After that though, I wasn’t sleepy and didn’t know what to do. So I decided to start watching The Wire. I heard a lot about it. All of it very very positive. I know it wasn’t a hit when it aired, but everyone had nothing but good things to say about it. So I thought I’d give it a go.

I have to say, I was blown away by it. It’s not just a tv show. It really is a televised novel. There are so many characters in it, and each and everyone of them gets properly characterised. Not much happens throughout the whole thing, but that’s not what it is about. There is a main story, that involves the Baltimore Police trying to catch a major drug dealer. However that’s not what it is about. It’s very much a treatise on the fall of an empire. You see how the US is completely rotten. The ghettos where people’s lives are worth nothing, and the way in which everyone is distracted from the real issues. It is really very good. I’m still on the first series, but I’m completely hooked. I will hopefully write about it again when I go through more series and give you a more detailed review. But so far, this is a masterpiece of television. Rarely have I seen tv so well done.

Anyway, that’s about all that happened to me on Tuesday. I went to sleep relatively early in the hopes that I wake up on Wednesday and get some more work done. Hopefully, I’ll keep working and working and get my stuff done. Anyway, until tomorrow, be safe and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Weird Fast Day

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 28/12/2010 by arabrhizome

So I went to sleep at a normal time on Sunday. But my sleep was disturbed, very disturbed. I kept waking up  almost every hour. I don’t know why, I couldn’t keep sleeping. Was I having nightmares? Was I nervous? I don’t know what was wrong. The point is that I woke up feeling grumpy and completely and utterly exhausted. I did wake up at a normal time though, which is good. I had decided that Monday was going to be a long work day. I made myself a cup of tea, checked my mail, and decided to watch a little tv before I got started.

I then made myself another cup of tea and thought ‘you know what I should wash my dishes from last night’. So I did that. Then I thought I should make myself my food, since I ran out of leftovers and I thought that way I wouldn’t have to worry about it later while I’m working. If I make my food now, I’ll just need to reheat it. So I made myself some vegetables soup. I was very tired by then and I thought I should make myself another cup of tea to keep me up. After my tea I thought I should start work. So I got everything out, checked my mail one last time and then sat down to work.

I wrote about 100 words very quickly. I was proud of myself, but I started getting hungry. So I thought I should eat. I heated my food and had it while watching some tv. I finished the food before what I was watching was done, so I thought I’ll watch the rest. I then was quite sleepy and tired. So I thought I could play a little FF, just to get through the drowsiness. It helped and I got to kill a few Adamantoises, which is what I’m doing right now. I’m basically farming for some rare materials and experience. And that enemy is the only one that yields those rare items. So I did that for an hour or so. Then I thought it was time to get back to work, but by then I was really tired and it was impossible to focus on the book I need to be reading. So I thought I’ll just keep playing and see where that goes.

Before I knew it, it was quite late and it was time for me to watch the things I want to watch on tv. The first thing I wanted to watch was Richard Herring on Celebrity Mastermind. As you might know, I’m a big fan of his and have been looking forward to seeing his performance. He did very well on a very difficult subject, which was Rasputin. He however lost by one point in the end. But it was a gripping and interesting episode. After that, it was time for another episode of Upstairs Downstairs. This remake is getting better and better. I know I’ve said it before but the BBC are really very good at making costume dramas. Plus to see what it was like in the 1930s in England is a lot of fun.

After that I watched Charlie Brooker’s 2010 wipe, which is a sort of funny irreverential look back at tv, games, and news items and their coverage from the year. It was a lot of fun and it was also nice to remember some of the things that seem so far away now, like the volcano. After that I played a bit more and stayed up to watch the final Russell Howard’s Good News of the season. The main reason was that again, I know I’m such a silly fan boy, Richard Herring was on. And I wanted to see him. After that I got myself ready to sleep, and felt like I could have done more with my work. But through the power of procrastination and the effect of a very bad night of sleep, I was unable to deliver. Hopefully the next day would be better.

Short Sad Day

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 27/12/2010 by arabrhizome

So after a very nice and fun Saturday, I woke up on Sunday feeling quite sad. I guess it’s the holiday blues. I spent most of the day feeling sorry for myself. I had my leftovers for lunch and dinner. It was nice to eat. But I wasn’t able to shake off my bad mood though. It’s really annoying to just be this sad and bothered. I really just want to get over this. The problem is I keep getting bogged down with silly thoughts. Anyway, I’m not going to focus on this too long. The point is my day was very much defined by me being quite sad. But then it ended up becoming even worse as my gut started to act up again. That’s quite annoying, as you can imagine.

So most of my day was spent between playing Final Fantasy and looking out of my window feeling sorry for myself. Also, feeling upset about my stomach. The weirdest thing happened to me was that all of a sudden, my stomach had doubled in size. Now for those of you who know me, my stomach is not insubstantial, I am being nice about myself. However, this was really scary, I looked like Homer Simpson. Then just like that, it was back to normal. I then sat there watching my stomach literally double up in size and then go back to normal. That took a good hour. But I also forgot just how beautiful FF looked. It’s really one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen. I’m glad I’m finishing it off, if only for the aesthetics of it.

In the evening, I sat and watched the first episode of the remake of Upstairs Downstairs. It is really a very good series. Everything about it is fantastic. The cast, the writing, the sets, and everything else about it. Plus it has Keeley Hawes in it, she was the main character in ashes to ashes. I have a bit of a crush on her. She’s beautiful and a wonderful actress. I already liked her a lot from Ashes to Ashes, but I love her even more now. Her acting in Upstairs Downstairs is simply fabulous. But she’s not the only one who shines in this beautiful remake. Everyone else is incredible as well.

Also, this show reminds us how good the BBC are at costume drama.I mean this year the BBC has produced some of the best drama I’ve ever seen. Between the new Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Upstairs Downstairs, the BBC has created this year three of my favourite tv shows of all times. Now, I know that Doctor Who is not exactly a show that was created this year, but I’m talking about the new incarnation, Matt Smith, under Stephen Moffat. I finally went to sleep hoping to basically forget this quite annoying Sunday. I was also hoping that my sleep was going to be a nice relaxing and restful sleep. Well that’s pretty much my whole day in about 500 words. I’ll probably have more to say tomorrow. Well I hope I do.

Christmas Day

Posted in Culture, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 26/12/2010 by arabrhizome

I wanted to write a nice upbeat post today, because yesterday was mainly a good day. However, I’m feeling a little sad and a little bit ill today. I’ll still try to make it fun but my mood might affect my writing, so I hope you can forgive that. I have been doing well this past few posts and I hope I find some kind of rhythm while I’m writing and get into some kind of fun writing groove. That tends to happen sometimes, so Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it will happen today.

So I left you yesterday again on tender hooks as you were all left on the edge of your seats wondering if I managed to reset my alarm clock. If you remember I went to sleep at 22:00 on Friday, hoping to wake up at a normal time, after having basically spent 22 hours awake. Well I’m happy to tell you that I did indeed wake up at 8:00. I’m sure that my sleeping for 10 hours had something to do with me not sleeping properly for the past 2 weeks. Anyway, that made me very very happy. I love waking up early, but cannot manage t for long periods of time, haha I said period, because my body clock is so fucked up, haha I said up. I always have good days when I wake up at 6:00 or 7:00 or even 8:00. It’s just nice to be able to do so much by the time lunch time arrives.

So other than seeming to have started my journey towards resetting my body clock Saturday was christmas day. Now as I said before this was my first christmas in England. In fact, it was my first christmas without any family. I was quite happy about that bit, although I would have liked to have some friends around as well. But you can’t have everything. So with a slight note of mild sadness, I was quite happy. I started my day by having a nice cup of tea and a croissant that I had bought for the occasion. It was nice and decadent, I haven’t had breakfast in a very long time. Also, I haven’t been eating that much for the past few weeks. Although I haven’t lost any weight, I don’t know why.

I spent a bit of the morning finishing my second playthrough of Uncharted 2. I was very happy to finish it again, only this time having collected all the secret treasures peppered all over the game. I am now going to finally finish off Final Fantasy XIII. I have already finished the storyline, but just like every other FF game there are a multitude of side quests and stuff to do. The fact that you can get trophies for them is an extra incentive. What is interesting about the trophy system in FFXIII is that it doesn’t feel silly. Every trophy makes perfect sense. Sometimes games will have really silly trophies like one for a second or a third playthrough. There really is no need for that. It’s just artificially extending the gameplay time. FFXIII has none of that. That said, some of the trophies are really hard to get, haha I said hard. But I am committed now to getting all of them.

At this point it was time for me to start cooking my christmas lunch. As I am by myself I thought a turkey might be a little too much. So I got a piece of lamb shoulder to cook. I also bought roast potatoes, red cabbage, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, Yorkshire puddings, and turnips. I put everything on the hub and in the oven and sat to watch some tv while I was waiting. Santa Clause 3 was on, with tim alan, What an awful movie that is. Although to be fair to tim alan, all of his movies suck, except for galaxy quest. But Madagascar was going to be on right after, and I thought I might as well watch it as nothing else that seemed fun was on.

I watched Madagascar while eating. My food was delicious. I ate so much that I felt I could burst. The good thing is that most of what I ate were vegetables. In fact they were quite healthily prepared vegetables. So I didn’t feel like I over indulged, even though I definitely did. It was a little magical, I know I sound like a silly mawkish idiot. But watching a silly cartoon film that’s not that great while eating some very good food made me feel all warm inside and christmassy.

Anyway, the rest of the afternoon was spent between watching stuff on tv and listening to a bunch of podcasts. It was great. Then as I told you yesterday, I was crazily excited about watching the Doctor Who christmas special. I love Doctor Who. I love everything about it. The writing, the music, the stories, the characters, and pretty much everything in it. But most of all, I love the Doctor himself. He represents everything I look up to. The show’s message is a very simple, yet lovely one: It is all about the triumph of intellect and values of rationality and humanity. And the Matt Smith incarnation of the doctor is so good it makes me pee myself a little from excitement every time I think about it. Also, Stephen Mofat, the main writer on the show since Smith became the doctor is a genius. He is just so good at evoking childhood fears and reinventing them in a wonderful way. Some of my favourite Doctor Who villains were created by him, like the Vashta Nerada and the weeping angels, but I have talked about this before on this blog.

Anyway, I don’t want to give away too much about it, but it’s called A christmas Carol and so is a reinvention of it. However, It is a lot more than a simple reimagining, it is so much more, as anyone who knows Doctor Who would have imagined. Also, in this episode something happens that basically changes some very important rules of the show. Basically the rule book has changed in a very basic sense. Nothing will ever be the same. I have to say I am incredibly excited about what this means. After the show finished, we were treated to what is probably the most exciting and most awesome trailer for an upcoming series of any show, let alone a Doctor Who series. In fact, as I said before, I was so excited I peed myself a little bit, both figuratively and literally. Relax, I’m only joking I actually pooped myself a little bit. Relax, I’m only joking, I actually came a little. Relax, I’m only joking, well on this occasion I wasn’t actually joking. I did have a small orgasm.

After that I watched a bunch of stuff that didn’t really make any proper impression on me. However, at 21:00 it was time for my favourite christmas movie of all times: Die Hard. I really enjoyed watching while tweeting at the same time. It’s great to watch television while tweeting. You follow a trending topic and see what everyone else is saying about it. Some people are really funny. I do love Die Hard though. I love it on so many different levels. I do love it on face value and completely unironically. I also do love it ironically as a terrible 1980s action flick. There are so many classic lines in it, like for example: ‘Now I have a machine gun ho ho ho’, or the other classic: ‘No fucking shit lady! Do I sound like I’m ordering a pizza?’ Anyway, after the film was done, I was quite happy about my christmas day. I was also ready to go to sleep. I’m very glad I was sleepy at this normal time. I went to sleep around 00:00 all happy with this lovely day of indulgence and entertainment.

While I Wait

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Silly Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 25/12/2010 by arabrhizome

Right, the Doctor Who Christmas special is going to start in half an hour. So I thought I can write this while I’m waiting. This is my first Christmas in England, and even though I’m by myself I’m really enjoying it. But anyway, this is all for tomorrow’s post. Today, I have to talk to you about yesterday and the cliff hanger I left you with. Well are you ready to hear the answers to all the questions I asked yesterday? Well though! They were there for comic effect. Yes I call it comedy. I know I’m the only one laughing but that’s because my sense of humour is so refined and superior. Face it, I’m just better than you in every single way. That’s right you, I’m talking to you. Not all my readers, just you there reading this post right now. I’m only joking I love you all. But I’m still not answering all your questions. As I explained, they were there for comic effect. And as I said as well, it’s funny whether you think it is or not, because I am better than you in every single way. Oh my god I seem to have locked myself within a weird viscous cycle, as a graffiti in an AUB bathroom. The whole graffiti read ‘Life is a viscous cycle’. So I’m going to to walk away from the viscous cycle and start writing about yesterday.

So I went to sleep on Thursday at 18:00 hoping to wake up on Friday morning all refreshed with my body clock reset, or at least beginning to be reset. However, while I did wake up on Friday, it was at 00:00. This was quite disturbing. I was very angry. I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. I therefore decided to try it again by staying up as late as I could. This was quite an interesting turn of events. I decided to help myself by drinking copious amounts of tea and eat a bunch of chocolate in order to stay up as late as I could. Hence the weird post yesterday.

I spent most of the night playing Uncharted 2. I finished it on normal mode and then started replaying it on hard mode. I was trying to get all the secret treasures. It really is a very good game. I’m quite excited to play the third one when it comes out next year. It seems to be mainly set in the arabian peninsula, which is kind of home for me. Well I am an arab so I’m somehow forced to think it’s good. I hope it doesn’t turn into a weird kind of racist thing. It can do very easily, can’t it.

The rest of the day was spent with me watching some good stuff on tv and the internet. I also enjoyed listening to a bit of music. I’m very happy that I’m listening to music again. It’s been a while since I’ve just sat and listened to music, rather than have it in the background while I do stuff. Music is really a very good thing.

Anyway, that’s all from me. The Doctor is about to start so I’m going to leave you and enjoy the show. I love the Doctor. and Matt Smith is really very good in it. Oh and to answer the question I did sleep at 22:00 and I’ll tell you when I woke up and if my plan finally worked on tomorrow’s post. Have a happy Christmas everyone. I’ll see you tomorrow. Well not exactly see you, but we’ve been through this before haven’t we?